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Vitrue Study: Facebook fans worth about $3.60 each

21 Apr, 2010 McKell Naegle

One of the hardest issues regarding social media is sifting through the data and arriving at an ROI. Answering the questions about getting a return on the time (and thus $$) spent on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. can be tough to answer even when the data and analytics are available.

Well, the good folks at Vitrue recently calculated the average value of company Facebook fans by taking the number of “looks” fans give a company per month on the social media site and calculating how much it would have cost the company in traditional marketing to garner that same number of looks elsewhere.

Their findings?

For big businesses (those with a Facebook fan base of 1 million+), the return is $3.60 per customer over the course of a year.

Many companies won’t have 1 million Facebook followers, but the study serves as a good starting point for organizations looking to gauge what their Facebook efforts are really worth.

  • A business with 1 million Facebook fans that posts twice a day garners 60 million impressions each month on average on its own news feed
  • Based on a cost of $5 per 1,000 impressions, those 60 million visitors would generate about $300,000 per month in “paid media value” (what companies would spend elsewhere to get the same exposure).
  • Multiply the $300,000 monthly figure by 12 months and you get $3.6 million.
  • Break down that $3.6 million among 1 million fans and you arrive at the $3.60 per fan figure.

Researchers added that this formula doesn’t factor in the value of brand recognition, which should spur additional revenue.

Do you agree with these figures? What do you think you average fan is worth monetarily to you?

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